How to Record Streaming Audio
Recording streaming audio on your PC couldn't be easier. There are
a host of free and commercial tools for doing this. Recording programs
fall in two categories - audio recorders and stream capture programs.
One program (Replay A/V) offers
both methods. More advanced programs add radio station tuning and scheduling,
and some audio filtering and conversion options as well.
Audio Recorders work by capturing the audio that's about to play from
your sound card. These are the most common type of recording program.
The advantage is that any format of audio can be recorded, even copy
protected (DRM) audio. The disadvantage is that quality can suffer
a bit -- the audio is converted from a compressed format (like Windows
Media or MP3) to an uncompressed format (WAV), and back to a compressed
format again. It's sort of like making a photocopy of a photocopy.
In most cases the audio quality will be great, but it's never as good
as the original. The audio quality can also be affected by your PC's
sound card settings as well.
Another disadvantage is that these programs take over your sound card
- any other noises that occur on your PC will appear in your recordings,
and you can only record one thing at a time.
Some recommended audio recording programs are Freecorder Toolbar and Replay
Freecorder is a basic, free sound recorder that makes MP3 files. It works right inside your Internet Explorer or Firefox browser.
Replay Music is a cool audio
recorder that works great for capturing songs. It is able to extract
individual song files, and also recognize those songs to tag the MP3
files with the artist, title, album and genre data. It works really
well with Digital Music Services and online radio stations that have
discernible markers between songs. It can burn CDs, too.
Stream Capture Programs
Stream capture programs work differently - rather than recording audio,
these programs record the bits and bytes directly from the server. The
advantage is that your audio quality is a perfect reproduction from
the original server, and in many cases you can record multiple streams
at the same time. These programs can also capture
streaming video, too.
The disadvantage is that protected audio or audio from subscription
sites often can't be recorded. Also, most of these programs (with the
exception of Replay A/V) have no conversion capabilities, so you'll
need to purchase a separate audio or video conversion program if, for
example, you record a Real Audio file but need to listen to it as an
A recommended stream capture programs is WM
There is one program that offers both Stream Capture and Audio Recording
- Replay A/V. Using the stream
capturing feature, you can record several radio programs simultaneously,
or record streaming video. It can capture clips, or you can schedule
recordings of live web-based broadcast audio and video. Replay A/V
also has a Quick Audio Recording feature that makes it easy to quickly
capture audio clips. You can download
and try Replay A/V free from here.
Products Mentioned in this Article